Time to reform the unfair Home Owner Grant—here’s how

Jan 28, 2022
Early January showed how much BC’s housing system is biased towards existing homeowners to the detriment of renters and housing affordability. First, the latest property value assessments in BC revealed double-digit increases across the board. Large annual increases, such as the 16 per cent hike we see in the City of Vancouver, have become the… View Article

BC should look to zero waste solutions to reduce GHG emissions and create jobs

Jan 24, 2022
British Columbia is ahead of most North American jurisdictions in implementing composting and recycling programs. Yet, we are systemically burdened by endless amounts of packaging, especially the mass proliferation of plastic, which is an environmental tragedy of our times. BC shares the core problem with other jurisdictions: a culture of consumption and an extraction-oriented economic… View Article

Water protection must be a top public policy priority

Jan 14, 2022
The devastating floods that destroyed homes, farms, highways, dikes and critical infrastructure during November’s record rains are both unprecedented and a climate change wake-up call. Let’s hope they are also a wake-up call for something else: our government’s failure to make water protection a top public policy priority. Over the past several years, the BC… View Article

COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for a living wage

Jan 11, 2022
With the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, news stories sounding the alarm over worker shortages are once again on the rise. And, like previous waves, these news stories are focused almost exclusively on workers in low-wage, precarious jobs. These jobs service large parts of the Canadian economy that are now being recognized as… View Article

The future of university divestment campaigns: Reflections from inside the movement

Jan 7, 2022
To an outsider, university divestment campaigns might look like a hopeful but impractical social movement led by naive cadres of sign-waving students. The truth, however, is that divestment is more successful and has more transformative potential than what first appears. Largely hidden but tightly woven connections between universities, finance and fossil fuels have provided ongoing… View Article
Photo of well sites in the Montney region of BC. Photo copyright Garth Lenz.

Key recommendations to the BC oil and gas royalty review

Dec 3, 2021
The oil and gas industry is a marginal player in BC’s overall economy, yet has far-reaching environmental impacts, is inconsistent with global climate action and undermines First Nations’ rights and title. And yet, since BC started to implement climate action targets and policies in 2007, gas production has doubled. In our submission to BC’s oil… View Article

The great tree robbery

Dec 2, 2021
As more old-growth trees topple and forest industry jobs plummet, an obscure government subsidy scheme fuels the collapse For more than 15 years, the BC government has rewarded logging companies with millions of additional old-growth trees to chop down thanks to an obscure “credit” program that allows companies to log bonus trees that don’t count… View Article

A flood of questions: As southern BC reels from epic flood, former provincial flood official says independent expert needs to investigate

Dec 1, 2021
Work at British Columbia’s River Forecast Centre is a little like trench warfare, long stretches of waiting followed by heart-racing action.  As a fresh recruit at the forecast centre, Allan Chapman’s first big action occurred only months into the job. In October 2003, an atmospheric river or “pineapple express” slammed into the southwest coast hitting… View Article

Can CleanBC reach its 2030 GHG target? A closer look at industrial emissions

Nov 29, 2021
In the wake of negotiations in Glasgow to push forward global climate action, it is clear that rich countries and jurisdictions like BC are not doing enough to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On the heels of Glasgow, the massive flooding in southern BC should be another wake-up call on top of a year of… View Article

LNG exports will doom BC’s emissions reduction goals

Nov 26, 2021
When the provincial government announced its CleanBC Roadmap to 2030 on Oct. 25, conspicuously absent was any mention of BC’s LNG export aspirations, which will increase emissions from the oil and gas sector and likely doom any chance of meeting BC’s emissions reduction targets. The LNG Canada project under construction in Kitimat includes a gas-fired… View Article

BC oil and gas royalty review seriously flawed without consideration of water

Nov 25, 2021
By
Open letter to the provincial government As prospects grow for intensified gas extraction in our province, we applaud the provincial government’s decision to review British Columbia’s decades-old oil and gas royalty regime. This once in a generation review is essential, given the significant threats posed to the climate and the environment by continued fossil fuel… View Article

Next steps for federal housing policy: A look at 2021 election promises

Nov 18, 2021
Affordable housing was an important theme in the 2021 federal election, with all major parties tabling a range of policy actions. These include some high-profile promises with real potential to rein in financialization and speculation, along with a number of new incentives for first-time buyers, which are mostly gimmicks. Below I mostly consider the proposals… View Article

Old-growth deferrals and the elephant in the room: we’re out of trees to cut thanks to failed provincial policies

Nov 12, 2021
No one should be surprised that the British Columbia government’s decision to potentially defer logging in 26,000 square kilometres of old-growth forest angered many and pleased few. First Nation leaders were highly critical of the incredibly short, 30-day turnaround that the government imposed on them to respond to the deferral proposals, the paltry funding provided… View Article

Paying a living wage key to Canada’s post-COVID economic recovery

Nov 10, 2021
The cost of living in Canada is on the rise and for workers earning low wages, making ends meet continues to be a struggle. The living wage rates for cities and communities across the country have just been released and not surprisingly they are also on the rise. The 2021 rates include Vancouver ($20.52), Victoria… View Article

Albertans have a right to be outraged…about the $3.5 million Allan Inquiry

Nov 1, 2021
Last week Albertans received the fruits of the Kenney Government’s inquiry into foreign-funded “anti-Alberta” activities targeting the oil and gas industry. The $3.5 million report, a year late and a million dollars over budget, found no evidence of illegal activities or wrongdoing on the part of any individual or organization targeted by the Inquiry. When… View Article

A challenge to the 44th Parliament: Make the global fossil fuel phase-out your legacy

Oct 28, 2021
In the past five years, the federal government has brought in important climate policies — including a national carbon price and coal power phase-out — that have helped flatten Canada’s emissions curve. On the other hand, this government has championed fossil fuel extraction at home and abroad, exemplified most clearly by the purchase of the… View Article

84 doctors, health experts & economists across Canada call on BC government to show national leadership with 10 days paid sick leave

Oct 21, 2021
By
As economists and health experts from across Canada, we urge the BC government to implement a robust employer-paid sick leave program that includes at least 10 paid sick days for workers. Employer-paid sick days are already a right of workers in most developed countries around the world, including a majority of OECD countries, because they… View Article

Five lessons from BC’s horrific wildfire season

Oct 7, 2021
In British Columbia, climate change is no longer something abstract for the future. The late June heat dome event—that claimed 500-600 lives—and the wildfires that followed confirm that climate change is a clear and present danger that’s not going away any time soon. As of September 28, some 867,000 hectares of land had burned, making… View Article

Legislated Paid Sick Leave – A Historic Moment for Worker Rights

Oct 6, 2021
The BC government will implement the right for all employees to have a minimum number of employer-paid sick days on January 1, 2022. BC will become just the third province in Canada to do so—and has an opportunity to make history by bringing in the strongest, most well-designed program in the country. Last May, the provincial government established… View Article

Remembering Murray Dobbin—activist, intellectual, mentor, friend

Sep 27, 2021
Neoliberal myth-buster. Far right exposer. Movement philosopher. Activist mentor. Murray Dobbin was all of these. On Sept. 8, our good friend and comrade Murray died at age 76. Murray was not ready to leave, but after two-and-a-half years the inexorable brutality of cancer led him to choose medical assistance in dying to end his life… View Article